Three Indian men arrested in US Virgin Islands

U.S Federal law enforcement has arrested three young Indian nationals in the Virgin Islands on charges of illegally entering the country, an American attorney said on Friday, PTI reported.

According to the report, Krishnaben Patel (25), Nikunjkumar Patel (27), and Ashokkumar Patel (39) were arrested at St Croix airport in US Virgin Island as they were about to board a flight for Fort Lauderdale in Florida on November 24.

The three men appeared on December 2, before Magistrate Court Judge George W Cannon in St Croix for a preliminary hearing on criminal charges related to their alleged attempted illegal entry into the United States.

A probable cause was found and the defendants were bound over to the District Court for further proceedings, US Attorney Gretchen C F Shappert said.

According to the US attorney, the trio were about to board the flight when a systems check revealed that their Florida driver’s licenses were not legally issued and were deemed fraudulent.

Further inspection revealed that in August 2019, the three were previously detained in Tecate, California, and were processed for expedited removal. They were subsequently removed from the United States to India, the media release said.

As a result, the three men were charged by criminal complaint with Reentry by an Alien After Removal and Possession and Use of Fraudulent Documents. If convicted, they face up to a potential 10 years in prison and subsequent deportation, the Department of Justice said, the PTI report said.